The Comeback Kid

boxingglovesYou may have noticed a lot more game product announcements from my corner of the world of late. I’ve targeted 2013 as my return to game design.

My little family-owned publishing house, Popcorn Press, recently finished a Kickstarter project for the Invasion of the Saucer People card game, for example. That project also paid for the now-completed illustration of the Wolf Man’s Curse card game. And we currently have a Kickstarter project going to have Len Peralta illustrate the Monster Con card game and its sequel, Return of Monster Con.

If the Monster Con project succeeds, it will help bootstrap us to illustrate and print the Clashing Blades, Demon Bound, and Blood Type card games. From there, we hope to publish a Bug Hunt scifi board game, followed by a Shadows Rising horror board game. And if all that flies, we’ll be able to devote time to the Zero Plus and When Shadows Rise role-playing games.

How You Can Help

If you’re a fan of Dragon Dice, or Dark Conspiracy, or maybe of my Space: 1889 or MechWarrior contributions, or even of the “Popcorn Horror” poetry and fiction we’ve published for the past four Halloweens, please consider backing the current Monster Con project—and most importantly, please tell all your friends. A lot hangs on that one project. And as explained here, even a dollar helps more than you might imagine.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who has backed Popcorn Press’s projects so far, and to those who will do so in the future.

Project Descriptions

  • Invasion of the Saucer People: A 1950’s-style sci-fi card game of alien invasion, with a cooperative twist. (More info)
  • Wolf Man’s Curse: A tragic lycanthropy game of Victorian England. Each player is a gypsy-cursed member of a decaying noble house, seeking to restore the family fortunes without slaughtering innocents during the full of the moon. As if that weren’t difficult enough, they must also dodge the “Silver Bullet” at the hands of their “True Love,” escape being lynched by angry villagers, and not be convicted and hanged by Scotland Yard. If anyone survives to the end, the guiltless soul wins—or the richest, if all hands are bloody.
  • Monster Con: Four classic monsters—Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Werewolf, Mummy—in love with the same horror-movie starlet, attend a horror convention incognito, hoping to get the girl. How long can they go before the convention attendees realize these four are not just in costume? (More info)
  • Return of Monster Con: The same game system as above, but with the Invisible Man, Amorphous Blob, Swamp Creature, and Alien Changeling. Mix and match monsters between decks.
  • Clashing Blades: A fast-paced two-player fencing game. With Three Musketeers-style options.
  • Demon Bound: The year is 666, and you’ve discovered the philosopher’s stone, which will make you filthy rich turning lead to gold. Unfortunately, a few other alchemists have discovered the same secret. You’ll need to eliminate them with summoned demons, mortal assassins, and magic before they destroy you.
  • Blood Type: In a dystopic near future of a blood-born disease, your blood type determines whether you’re one of several “zombie” types, a “vampire,” or the “cure.”
  • Bug Hunt: Aliens have invaded earth, and a nest is set up outside your home town. Take one of several roles to infiltrate that alien stronghold.
  • Shadows Rising: A cooperative game versus supernatural invasion. You may be young, but you recognize that your city is falling prey to growing numbers of zombies, vampires, and werewolves. Can you gain skills, gather equipment, and build a team of monster hunters quickly enough to save your city?
  • Zero Plus: Years ago, I accepted a challenge to design a role-playing game with minimal stats. The result was Zero, a game with one stat: Focus. Character creation was super fast, and the setting was odd enough to make for a good convention game. In Zero Plus, my intent is to streamline the text a bit, complete the trilogy of settings referred to in the original game, and add a half-dozen completely different genres, from fantasy to Western to sci-fi to horror. I’d like to make the system a default for pick-up games.
  • When Shadows Rise: A lot of work has been done on this game; a lot remains. I’m hoping that the projects above can help fund its development. For more about the game itself, please visit

Photo by Jeffery Turner

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